The current buzzword for the construction industry at present, BIM may seem like another passing fad. The catch, however, is that it is here to stay.
BIM is the next evolutionary phase within our profession and it is a logical one, just as moving from drawing boards to computers was a natural progression before.
For a basic explanation of BIM and FAQs please visit: bimtaskgroup.org/bim-faqs
To follow the CITA BIM Group (for members in the Republic of Ireland only) on Twitter, please go to: twitter.com/citabimgroup
Here at CIAT, we know that our members will play a key role in the delivery of BIM projects, thus we want to ensure that you have the most relevant and up-to-date information available to ensure we are heading down the same path together.
We must remember that BIM is a process and NOT a new fancy bit of software. It is changing how we work, which currently in most cases people are acting as individual silos that pass information around. It is easy to see how this can cause issues with missing or out-of-date information that is integral to the smooth running of a project. BIM professionals have the aspiration of bringing the construction industry together through true collaborative working.
Andrew Stanford MCIAT
Chartered Architectural Technologist
CIAT continually aims to ensure that it is at the forefront of all of the developments regarding Building Information Modelling (BIM), and that its members are regularly informed of developments and provided with information. This includes the mandatory requirement that all centrally procured projects in England meet BIM Level 2 requirements came into effect on 4 April 2016. A website for BIM Level 2 has been developed by BSI and can be accessed here.
This is the next step in the progression to design more efficient and effective buildings, and will have an impact on how our members operate.
One of the Institute’s Taskforces – the Special Issues Taskforce – deals with BIM and addresses issues regarding this initiative, and we are fortunate that Institute members are part of Committees and other Taskforces that not only address how BIM impacts the built environment but also look at how it is a catalyst for changes to processes and procedures. We are especially proud that two Chartered Members (Dan Rossiter MCIAT and Ryan Tennyson MCIAT) are currently members of the CIC BIM2050 Group.
The Institute’s BIM Virtual Group regularly disseminates information on BIM to its members. This website has a separate BIM section, that features articles, reports and links to other sources, that is regularly updated and easily accessible for all of our members and the Institute constantly seeks further ways to ensure that its members are kept up-to-date with information regarding BIM.
Some of our members who have been involved in the initiative or work closely with BIM have provided some comments and views on BIM Level 2.
Past President, Gary Mees PCIAT, summarises the important role that Architectural Technologists have played in the development of BIM: 4 April 2016 is but a staging post in the development and progress of BIM into built environment. It sets a standard to be attained for work on government funded projects in England with the other nations following on. Architectural Technologists have been influential in the development of these standards and continue to collaborate with others to progress workflows, standards and provide the skilled team members required to drive improvements for the future.
Eddie Weir MCIAT, President Elect, Vice-President Practice and Chair of Special Issues Taskforce: We encourage members to embrace this incredible opportunity to reduce cost and waste while driving productivity and competitiveness. For many this may be the start of a journey which takes us from the traditional process of communicating design to constructing a digital virtual environment full of data rich information. These are very exciting times indeed.
Andrew Stanford MCIAT, BIM Manager, Western, Construction, ISG and member of Special Issues Taskforce: 4 April 2016 Level 2 mandate is an important milestone in BIM adoption in the UK but it is simply that, a milestone. This does not signify the end of our BIM journey but merely the commencement. Architectural Technologists will be pivotal as specialists in technology within design and construction to ensure as a collective, clients see the benefits of level 2 BIM. CIAT and its members, now more than ever, have the important role of ensuring BIM is embedded into the design, build & operational phases of built asset delivery.
Keith Snook HonMCIAT, 40 years research and writing on the issues of information and collaboration, member of various BS and other committees contributing to the UK BIM initiative, Author of BS7000-4 Construction Design Management, CIAT representative to CIC BIM Forum, member of Special Issues Taskforce: Having been involved in preparing documentation and guidance one might imagine I’d have been looking forward to “BIM level 2 day”. Not really, and though I appreciate that a date had to be set the whole BIM thing is what in the modern idiom is called a ‘journey’ and it neither starts nor stops on April 4. One thing that I feel it isn’t and that is a “mandate on the industry”. It is clearly no such thing but a requirement for public sector procurement executives to act in a particular way. It could be argued that to stay in business it is effectively passed down to the industry as to get public sector work one must respond appropriately, but it remains a choice both on how and whether the industry responds and on private sector procurement to follow or not the government's lead. Clearly I am in favour however and what I really dream of is the day when BIM ceases to be a thing at all and becomes just a part of what we do naturally to achieve a fantastic built environment – which is what we are really here for.
Dan Rossiter MCIAT, member of CIC BIM2050 Group: Now that the BIM Level 2 Mandate has been launched it is pivotal that our members remember two things. The first is that while it is a public sector mandate, many private organisations see the value in BIM and are insisting that supply teams adopt the process, so regardless of your native sector BIM will impact on your services. The second is that as often we (Technologists) are approached first by clients. As such as can offer to assist them in writing their Employer’s Information Requirements (EIR) opening up new revenue streams, and take the lead in managing BIM on a project to ensure that best practice is being followed, and help de-risk the project. This mandate is a golden opportunity for us to establish our dominance in the industry as the expertise in managing information; we shouldn’t squander it.
Graham Paterson HonMCIAT MCIAT, Member of BIM4SME and co-author of ‘Getting to Grips with BIM: A guide for Small and Medium-sized Architecture, Engineering and Construction Firms”*: From a small business perspective, since 2012 I've assisted the BIM4SME team in raising awareness of the benefits of digital working among small UK organisations; designers, contractors, sub-contractors, suppliers and the like. With around 90% of our "industry" made up of SME and micro companies, reach and engagement have presented huge tasks for a team of volunteers. Feedback from the SME community is that people are receptive to change and open to embracing digital technologies and cultures. Level 2 is an important threshold, but what we've found is evidence of an evolutionary process where first steps are possibly the most significant for small firms. CIAT's role in contributing to the framing of UK protocols for digital working has been pivotal. That's a huge credit, to the members involved, the Institute and as a measure of how far we've moved forward as a professional body in recent years".
From an educational perspective, construction is a major player in the UK economy. It generates almost £90 billion annually (6.7% of GDP) and employs in excess of 2.9 million people. In reflecting on the Level 2 gateway, why has the skills shortage reached crisis levels? We need to work much harder to attract young people into the industry and tap into the digital skill-sets which students already have by the time they enter secondary education. On that front, the launch of CIAT's aspirATion group is an exciting and timely initiative Looking across CIAT Accredited centres in 2014 I found evidence that a number of AT undergraduate programmes were ahead of the game. As digital working evolves and gathers momentum, it's hugely encouraging to see Chartered Architectural Technologists already holding key and influential roles in practices, construction organisations and within strategic and policy making groups".
*This book was written in collaboration with James Harty and Tahar Kouider MCIAT.
CIAT supports the work of, and is a partner in, BIM Regions which was set up in partnership with Construction Industry Council (CIC) and the BIM Task Group in 2012 to support the UK BIM programme. The latest website for BIM Regions can be accessed from this link: bimregions.co.uk
The Institute would like to thank all of its members who are involved in this great work.
In response to members' feedback, BIM Q&A has been launched by CIAT and is intended to provide a support service for our members who may be struggling with issues relating to BIM. If you have a BIM question or issue, please submit this to the Institute and we will pass it on to our panel of BIM experts to answer and the responses will be incorporated into information sheets that can be used by members as a resource.
(Please note, this is not intended to address operational and software issues which should be directed to your software provider, or recommend or comment on any or related products.)
If you wish to submit a question to our panel, please forward it to Graham Chalkley, Assistant Practice Director at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please remember to put 'BIM Q&A' in your email subject header.
A new initiative - BIM4HERITAGE - has been set up, and follows the merger of a project from the Council in Training of Architectural Conservation (COTAC) and a similar group run by an architect called Idonis Jesus, and counts influential members from the National Trust, English Heritage, Scottish Heritage and Ramboll, the consulting engineering group. Their website can be accessed here: bim4heritage.org
Feedback from the BIM4HERITAGE meetings will be distributed as and when we receive it.